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February 11, 2019

The lies we tell ourselves

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  • Judy Murphy

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I've seen many clients self-sabotage their wellness journey by telling themselves lies. On this episode I discuss the lies we tell ourselves.

Before I get into todays topic, I did want to ask you for one quick favor. My book, The Wellness Roadmap, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you would go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, thats going to take you to the Author Academy Awards page. Scroll down to the bottom. Youll see a place where you can vote. Dont do the “Submit”, but go down to where you can vote. Its going to be on page 6 – thats the Health category. Find The Wellness Roadmap, the book cover. Click on that and youll be voting for The Wellness Roadmap. I really appreciate that. Again, thats 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. Itd really help me out a lot. Thank you so much for that. So now well go ahead and get on with the show.

For todays topic, its going to be a solo episode where I wanted to go into something that a lot of us dont talk about a whole lot, but it is something thats real in many of our minds. We lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves all the time, and it can be something that can keep you from reaching the wellness that you want to have. As a recap, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be, and you do have to focus on all three. And these lies that Im going to cover today are part of your journey. If youre telling yourself these lies, youve got to stop. Ill get into some strategies about that towards the end. 

I broke this into three different sections, the first being “Getting Started”, and then well talk about “On The Journey”, and finally well talk about “Success”. And Ive got several lies in each of these categories that we tend to tell ourselves. So as we go through this, I really want you to do some deep thinking. This is part of the self-awareness aspects as you go through your Wellness GPS. If youve gotten The Wellness Roadmap, you know what that is, but basically we have to get to this point of self-awareness where we know what were doing and what were saying to ourselves, because if we dont get there, were not going to make this journey. Were going to struggle. And that struggle is going to keep you from getting where you could be getting. 

Getting Started

So the first one that I hear a lot is, Ill get started tomorrow. And that might be at the beginning of the month, at the beginning of the week, but in a general sense, its starting your plan any time other than right now. There is no better time than right now. So if you find yourself saying, Ill start my diet tomorrow. Ill start my exercise program tomorrow”youre already lying to yourself. Youre putting off something that you probably could start today. 

The next one is, My genetics are keeping me from losing weight or, My genetics are keeping me fat. You may also hear this termed big boned. Its not always genetics. Yes, some of us are designed to carry more body fat than others. Thats just a natural part of genetics. But none of us are genetically inclined to be obese; none of us are genetically inclined to be morbidly obese. Thats not the case. Now, there are genetic issues with some people and there are illnesses that will cause you to gain weight. There are medications that you might be taking that can cause you to gain weight. Those are real. Those are things you have to deal with. If your thyroids not functioning right, youre going to be bigger. Thats not your genetics. Thats not your genetic potential. We all have the genetic potential to be healthy, fit and happy; we just have to make sure were doing the right things based on who we are. So your genetics are not whats keeping you where you are. You have the capacity to do better. 

The next is, I dont lift because Ill get bulky. This is mostly things that women will say. Theyll say, I dont want to get bulky. I actually want to get smaller, so I dont want to lift weights because Ill get big. And the reality is, one, youre female, so to get big, short of performance-enhancing drugs, its not really going to happen. Two, you are never going to work hard enough to put on a whole lot of muscle the way body builders tend to. And third, finally, were all over 40, so our genetic potential, our opportunity potential to put on muscle is much lower than it was in our 20s and 30s. So straight off the bat, youre not going to work hard enough, youre not going to be taking performance-enhancing drugs, more than likely, and youre old enough that youre not going to put on significant muscle. But you should lift weights to maintain muscle mass, to maintain bone density and to maintain strength. All of those are very core to you being healthy, fit and happy. 

The next one is, I have a bad knee, or a bad hip, or some other injury that basically you cant work out. And this is almost never the case. I seldom see people who have an injury that they cant work around, that they cant do something with. If your knees hurt or you’re getting a knee replacement and the doctor says, No leg workouts” thats fine. Can you walk? Can you use the elliptical? Can you use the bicycle? Can you lift with your upper body? There are still things that you can do with that injury to work towards the fitness level that you want to have. It just takes some forethought and planning, so that you can get the work done without injuring yourself further. But very few injuries that I found will prevent you from being able to work out at some level. A lot of times were telling ourselves these lies because we dont want to work out. Its not that we cant, we just dont want to. So, dont let the injury stop you from doing some form of training. You can work on your mobility, you can work on your balance, you can work on your endurance. There are things that you can do; you just have to figure those things out. 

And the final item in the Getting Started section that I want to talk about is, I have to work out to lose weight. One of the early interviews I did was with a gentleman named Todd, and I also profile Todd in the book. Todd lost over 323 pounds without doing any workouts at all. In fact, he couldnt work out because of some physical conditions he had. As a function of being so heavy for so long, he literally would bleed through his calves if he sat down in a chair. He couldnt physically do the workout. So what did Todd do? Todd took control of his life. He made a commitment and he changed the things he could change, which was his food. Now, Todd did go low carb. You dont have to go low carb. You can find a way of eating that will help you lose weight if thats what your goal is, but you do not have to train to lose weight. Training helps the weight loss process, so training as a side effect will often include some weight loss, but thats a side effect of the working out, just as weight loss is a side effect of eating better. So, working out can enhance your weight loss, but its very unlikely that working out is going to be all you have to do to lose weight. Calories of energy output is very, very expensive for our bodies, relative to how easy it is to eat those calories back. Youll see those little diagrams all the time of, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that Snickers bar, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that McDonalds meal. You can tell the amount of exercise is insane for the effort and time its going to take for you to eat those calories back. Youre never going to out exercise a bad diet, so dont think that you will. Dont tell yourself that youre not working out. Youve got to focus on the food first.

So those are the Getting Started” lies: “Ill start tomorrow. My genetics are keeping me fat. I dont want to lift because Ill get bulky. My bad knee or other injury wont let me work out. I have to work out to lose weight.” All those are not really good reasons; theyre lies. So, stop telling yourself those lies if youre having difficulty getting started. 

On the Journey

Next, “On The Journey”. A lot of us will say, This time is different. But you didnt really change anything. Last time, what did you do? You went gung-ho for five days and then you had a cheat meal, and it turned into a cheat day and it turned into a cheat weekend, and then you didnt start back on Monday. So, what is different this time than the times you did this before? I can tell you, for me the main difference, the one time, was when I made the commitment. If you havent made the commitment and youre not making some substantive changes to your lifestyle, youre not going to get what you want. This time is different if you make it different, but going at it the same way you did before is just insanity, so dont do that. 

And then another one is, Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown. You go in in the morning and they have donuts in the office, and suddenly donuts in the office becomes a crappy lunch at a restaurant, and then it becomes after work Happy Hour with some coworkers, and that turns into a whole terrible weekend of things. Each event is independent, each decision is independent. The cookies have absolutely nothing to do with the martinis after work. Each of them were decisions that you made at that point in time. So dont think that one decision blows your whole day and therefore you just blow it out. Dont let those other decisions become components of the decision that you make. Theyre independent decisions and you need to treat them that way. 

I earned a treat. So, you go into the gym – and I wont name the name of the chain – but theres one that they leave Tootsie Rolls and cookies at the front desk. So you go do your workout, and then, Heres your treat, as a way of you congratulating yourself. Or you went and you did a good workout in the morning. You showed up and your trainer maybe trained you very, very well. You felt like you had a really good workout, so that entitles you to have your favorite treat after dinner that night to treat yourself for that hard workout. Thats not gaining you any ground; thats actually pushing you backwards. You might not feel that way when youre doing it, but it is in fact doing it. So, dont let a victory celebration become a bad decision. 

I cant afford good quality food. I hear this all the time – they say, I cant afford organic. Ill admit, organic food costs a little more in the grocery store; it does. It takes more time and effort to grow. They get smaller production because theyre not able to use the hormones. All those different things that are happening are going to make the food a little bit more expensive, based on that volume of food. But what I have found is the difference in quality. If you eat slow and you let your bodys hormones do their thing – the leptin and the ghrelin do their thing – theyll tell you youre full when youve had enough. When youve gotten what your body needs, theyll turn off your hunger sensation and it wont turn it back on as early. If you can get your body to listen to those things, eating higher quality food is going to give you the nutrition that your body deserves. I can tell you that higher quality food is going to be a lot cheaper for you in the long run, particularly when you start thinking about the expenditures and the things that youve got to go through, the pain and suffering if you end up with diabetes and some of the complications that come along with that. You dont want that in your life. You dont want to be obese. You dont want to have all those other problems and the medical issues and everything else. The quality of the food does matter and its an investment that you should be making. 

Finally on the journey: Since my family wont support me, Im doomed. The family wants to have cookies in the house or whatnot. I can tell you right now as Im recording this, my wife went out and bought some M&Ms. I thought they were the peanut M&Ms when I first saw them. She said theyre the caramel ones. She loves them, which is great, but theyre not what I plan to eat. But I have a very hard time saying No to M&Ms. I actually do. I know thats a problem for me, but my wife wants them – Im going to let her have them. If Im cooking for myself and my wife doesnt want to eat the way Im going to eat, then I just have to be a little bit more into my plan. Typically what I found is, there are foods that you can eat that they will eat, and then there are foods theyll eat that you wont eat. So, if you fix a protein, you fix plenty of different vegetables, and then you go ahead and fix them the starch and you make them the desert, but you just stay away from the starch and the desert, you can fill your plate with the kinds of food that you want to have and you can meet your goals. If youre really into this, if youre really committed, youll come up with a strategy, with a plan to work around what your familys needs are. Segregate their snacks to a different pantry or to a different cabinet so youre not in them and seeing them all the time, and that might help. Fixing your meals in a way that is modular, so that you can add the things that they want and you can avoid those things. Fixing the plates in the kitchen and bringing them to the table will make that even easier for you. So thats the “On The Journey”: This time is different, when you havent really changed anything, Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown. I earned a treat. I cant afford better quality food. And finally for On The Journey: Since my family wont support me, Im doomed. All of those are lies. Stop telling yourself that. If youre really committed to this, you can get through these things. 

Success

And then the final section is “Success”. The first one in “Success” is, If I lose X more pounds, Ill be happy. So for some people that might be five pounds, others 10, and for some it might be 25 or 30. Whatever that is, If I lose X more pounds, Ill be happy. Weight loss is not going to make you happy. If you get yourself healthy and you get yourself fit, its a lot easier to be happy. But happy in and of itself is its own component of wellness. And yes, theyre all intertwined. A fitter person tends to be more healthy and happy. A healthy person tends to be more fit and happy. A happy person tends to be more fit and healthy. Those are general components of the three and how they interact, but one does not drive the other in a straight line capacity that way. You need to find things that bring you joy, and that will bring you the happiness. That happiness will help you feel better so youll be putting more effort into your fitness. And as you notice the investments youre making on your fitness, youll start paying a lot more attention to the foods youre eating, the sleep youre getting, and your stress levels. All of that will work out to making you a much weller person. 

The second one in “Success” is, Im a failure. People will say this even when theyve made significant success. Ive talked to people that wanted to lose 60-70 pounds and theyve lost about 35 pounds, but theyve still got that 25 to lose and they feel like theyre a complete failure because they didnt reach a predetermined goal. And sometimes those goals were based on things that were happening at the early part of their journey. So, they needed to lose 70 pounds or wanted to lose 70 pounds, and the first week they last four, and then they lost three, and then they lost two, and now each week theyre noticing maybe half a pound, and one week it goes up. Theyre so fixated on the fact that the scale isnt moving as much as it did before, they feel like theyre stuck. There are things they can do to get off of this plateau. Youre not a failure. You climb the mountain and you found yourself on a ridge, and now you have to walk across that ridge before you can start climbing again. Thats just a normal aspect of going up this mountain, and its something to expect. Plateaus are a normal, natural thing in our wellness journey. If you find yourself on a plateau, youve got to keep doing whats been working for you and youre going to start seeing results again. You can start working a little bit harder at certain things, get a little bit more restrictive on some things and see if that helps spur some movement in the direction that you want to. But you are not a failure on the basis that your momentum stopped. Youre not a failure until you quit. If you quit this climb and start going back down the mountain, then yes, you can call yourself a failure, but youre not a failure because you didnt get all the way where you wanted to go. You are a success by making it as far up the mountain as you have, and you just have to keep working. 

And then the final lie that we tell ourselves as a part of the “Success” section: Ive met my goal, my journey is over. A lot of people will do this. Theyll go on a diet and their goal was to maybe lose 10-15 pounds. They lose that 10-15 pounds, and then they go right back to eating the way they did before. And guess what happens? They layer that fat right back on, and in some cases faster and even more than they did before. Thats a normal way that people will do – theyll do something, theyll be very successful, but because they werent committed to it in the long term, they let it slip through their grasp. They go back to living the way they did before, fully aware that thats how they got where they got. They know where that road takes them, yet they get on that road and they start going. So, when you meet your health and fitness goals, I’d strongly encourage you to take a moment to regroup, to assess yourself, and then sit down and pick something even better down the road. Find another goal, find another challenge. Find something thats going to keep you actively engaged in your own wellness. You can continue to improve your wellness, you can continue to maintain your wellness, or you can let it slip away. Its always a decision that you get to make, for the most part, so I want you making those decisions. 

So Ill recap – for “Success”, it was: If I lose X more pounds, Ill be happy. Im a failure, even though youve made significant progress, or, Ive met my goal, my journey is over. Those are three lies that we tend to tell ourselves when were looking at success or we feel like we have been successful. Those are also lies. If you really want to get well, you want to be as happy, healthy and fit as you can possibly be, you cant be telling yourself those lies either. 

I hope you enjoyed this episode. Its a little different than what Ive done in the past, but I really felt like as I was talking to various people, I hear these comments all the time and I know theyre just lies that people are telling themselves. I want you to do this deep dive. You may want to listen to this episode again, and therell be sections of it that are going to resonate with you. If they did, feel free to send me an email. Im at allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. We can talk about whats going on with you. Id love to help you out if I can in any way, so thank you.

If you enjoyed todays episode, would you please take a moment to check out our Patreon page? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon and leave a small contribution to the show. It takes a lot of effort and a little bit of money to keep a program like this going this long, so I really do appreciate any and all support that you can give me. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon and become a patron today. Thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness podcast.

Also, The Wellness Roadmap, the book I wrote, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you could go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, that will take you to the page for the Author Academy Awards. Youll need to scroll down to the bottom. Dont click that Submit button, because thats not for you, but scroll down a little bit further and youll find the Vote section, and then there are separate pages for each category. Im in the Health category, which is 7 of 16 pages, so youll have to do a little bit of scrolling to get over to the seventh page. Look for The Wellness Roadmap cover, click on it, and youve voted. Thank you so much for that: 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. Thank you.

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